Manage and automatically select needed WebDriver in Java 8 Selenium project

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Post summary: Example code how to efficiently manage and automatically select needed local WebDriver using Java 8 method reference used as lambda expression.

Code examples in the current post can be found in GitHub selenium-samples-java/design-patterns repository.

Java 8 features

In this example lambda expression and method reference, Java 8 features are used. More in Java 8 features can be found in Java 8 features – Lambda expressions, Interface changes, Stream API, DateTime API post.

Functional interface

Before explaining lambda it is needed to understand the idea of a functional interface as they are leveraged for use with lambda expressions. A functional interface is an interface that has only one abstract method that is to be implemented. A functional interface may or may not have default or static methods (again new Java 8 feature). Although not mandatory, a good practice is to annotate the functional interface with @FunctionalInterface.

Lambda expressions

There is no such term in Java, but you can think of lambda expression as an anonymous method. Lambda expression is a piece of code that provides an inline implementation of a functional interface, eliminating the need for using anonymous classes. Lambda expressions facilitate functional programming and ease development by reducing the amount of code needed.

Method reference

Sometimes when using lambda expression all you do is call a method by name. Method reference provides an easy way to call the method making the code more readable.

Managing WebDriver

The proposed solution of managing WebDriver has enumeration called Browser and class called WebDriverFactory. Another important thing is web drivers should be placed in a folder with name webdrivers and named with a special pattern.

Browser enum

The code is shown below:

package com.automationrhapsody.designpatterns;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.function.Supplier;

import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver;

public enum Browser {
	FIREFOX("gecko", FirefoxDriver::new),
	CHROME("chrome", ChromeDriver::new),
	IE("ie", InternetExplorerDriver::new);

	private String name;
	private Supplier<WebDriver> driverSupplier;

	Browser(String name, Supplier<WebDriver> driverSupplier) { = name;
		this.driverSupplier = driverSupplier;

	public String getName() {
		return name;

	public WebDriver getDriver() {
		return driverSupplier.get();

	public static Browser fromString(String value) {
		for (Browser browser : values()) {
			if (value != null && value.toLowerCase().equals(browser.getName())) {
				return browser;
		System.out.println("Invalid driver name passed as 'browser' property. "
			+ "One of: " + Arrays.toString(values()) + " is expected.");
		return FIREFOX;

Enumeration’s constructor has Supplier functional interface as a parameter. When the constructor is called method reference FirefoxDriver::new is called as a lambda expression which purpose is to instantiate new Firefox driver. If only lambda expression is used is would be: () -> new FirefoxDriver(). Notice that method reference is much shorter and easy to read. getDriver() method invokes Supplier’s get() method which is implemented by the lambda expression, so lambda expression is executed hence instantiating new web driver. With this approach Firefox web driver object is created only when getDriver() method is called.


Code is:

package com.automationrhapsody.designpatterns;


import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;

class WebDriverFactory {

	private static final String WEB_DRIVER_FOLDER = "webdrivers";

		public static WebDriver createWebDriver() {
		Browser browser = Browser.fromString(System.getProperty("browser"));
		String arch = System.getProperty("os.arch").contains("64") ? "64" : "32";
		String os = System.getProperty("").toLowerCase().contains("win") 
				? "win.exe" : "linux";
		String driverFileName = browser.getName() + "driver-" + arch + "-" + os;
		String driverFilePath = driversFolder(new File("").getAbsolutePath());
		System.setProperty("webdriver." + browser.getName() + ".driver", 
				driverFilePath + driverFileName);
		return browser.getDriver();

	private static String driversFolder(String path) {
		File file = new File(path);
		for (String item : file.list()) {
			if (WEB_DRIVER_FOLDER.equals(item)) {
				return file.getAbsolutePath() + "/" + WEB_DRIVER_FOLDER + "/";
		return driversFolder(file.getParent());

This code recursively searches for a folder named webdrivers in the project. This is done because when you have a multi-module project running from IDE and from Maven has different root folder and finding web drivers is not possible from both simultaneously. Once the folder is found then proper web driver is selected based on OS and architecture. The code reads browser system property which can be passed from outside hence making the selection of web driver easy to configure. The important part is to have web drivers with special naming convention.

Web drivers naming convention

In order code above to work the web drivers should be placed in webdrivers folder in the project and their names should match the pattern: {DIVER_NAME}-{ARCHITECTURE}-{OS}, e.g. geckodriver-64-win.exe for Windows 64 bit and geckodriver-64-linux for Linux 64 bit.


The proposed solution is a very elegant way to manage your web drivers and select proper one just by passing -Dbrowser={BROWSER} Java system property.

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